On This Day February 29

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – Frank Sinatra cruises along the top of the Billboard album chart with “Come Fly With Me,” featuring the tracks “Isle of Capri,” “Autumn in New York,” “April in Paris,” “Blue Hawaii” and, of course, the title track, “Come Fly With Me.” The album holds the top spot for five weeks.

1964 – The Beatles are in the middle of a seven-week domination of the Billboard singles chart with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1968 – The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album scores big at the 10th Grammy Awards, earning statuettes for Album of the Year (first rock LP to do so), Best Album Cover, Best Engineered Recording and Best Contemporary Album.

1980 – Buddy Holly’s distinctive eyeglasses and The Big Bopper’s watch turn up inside a file at the Mason City, Iowa police station. Both articles had been misplaced 21 years earlier after the plane crash that killed them and rocker Ritchie Valens.

1980 – At age 84, comedian George Burns becomes the oldest person with a hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as “I Wish I Was 18 Again” peaks at No.49. The last charting record Burns had before this was a spoken word comedy routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in 1933.

1992 – Mr. Big kicks off three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “To Be with You.”

2004 – Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris have the No. 1 single with “Yeah!” It remains on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks.

2012 – Singer and actor Davy Jones, who was part of the pop group The Monkees, dies of a heart attack at the age of 66.

On This Day April 3

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1860 – The Pony Express launches, with horse and rider relay teams simultaneously leaving St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California as part of a new effort to speed up U.S. mail delivery. 

1948 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Recovery Act of 1948 — later known as the Marshall Plan — which would foster the recovery of war-torn Europe. 

1968 – Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey” — regularly voted as one of the greatest movies ever made, but whose philosophical meaning most fans cannot explain — opens in theaters around the U.S.

1968 – Another sci-fi classic opens at U.S. theaters. It’s “Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans. It’s the story about an astronaut crew that crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes rule and humans are oppressed and enslaved.

1974 – More than 140 tornadoes rip through 11 states within 16 hours. The “Super Tornado Outbreak” kills 330 people and injures more than 6,000 others.

1978 – At the 50th annual Academy Awards, Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” wins the Oscar for Best Picture, beating out George Lucas’ “Star Wars.”

1986 – IBM unveils its first laptop computer. The 5140 “Convertible” retails for $1,995 and weighs 13 pounds.

1996 –  FBI agents arrest accused Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski at his rural Montana cabin. Kaczynski was linked to 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others during an 18-year period.

On This Day March 25

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On This Day March 24

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On This Day March 6

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo comes to a bloody end, capping off a pivotal moment in the Texas Revolution. Mexican forces successfully recapture the garrison after a 13-day siege, and nearly all of the roughly 200 Alamo defenders — including legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett — are killed.

1899 – Acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin, is trademarked by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer. Designed to relieve pain and fever, it becomes the most common drug found in household medicine cabinets.

1930 – Industrialist and inventor Clarence Birdseye brings the food industry into the modern era as he introduces consumers to pre-packaged, frozen foods — still available in supermarkets today.

1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national “bank holiday,” closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions in an effort to salvage the faltering banking system during the Great Depression. The banks reopen a week later with depositors standing in lines to return their hoarded cash.

1981 – An estimated 17 million American viewers watch as anchor Walter Cronkite says, “And that’s the way it is” for the final time as he signs off the “CBS Evening News.” Considered “the most trusted man in America,” Cronkite retires after more than 30 years in broadcasting and is succeeded by Dan Rather. 

1986 – Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist who gained worldwide fame for her austere minimalist paintings of the American southwest, dies in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 98.

On This Day February 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

On This Day January 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1841 – During the First Opium War, China cedes the island of Hong Kong to the British with the signing of the Chuenpi Convention — an agreement seeking an end to the first Anglo-Chinese conflict.

1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as U.S. president for the second time. His first inauguration, in 1933, was held in March, but the 20th Amendment, passed later that year, made January 20 the official inauguration date for all future presidents. 

1961 – President John F. Kennedy is sworn into office and delivers his inaugural address outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The speech concludes with his now-famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter calls for the 1980 Summer Olympics to be moved from the planned host city, Moscow, or canceled altogether if the Soviet Union fails to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within a month.

1981 – Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th U.S. president, 52 American captives held at the American embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. 

1984 – Hungarian-born Olympic gold medal swimmer and actor Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, dies at the age of 79. 

1993 – Actress, fashion icon and philanthropist Audrey Hepburn (“Roman Holiday,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “My Fair Lady”) dies of colon cancer at the age of 63. Hepburn remains among just a handful of performers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.

2009 – On a freezing day in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Obama was the first African-American to win election to the nation’s highest office.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1964 – The British Invasion is on as Capitol Records releases “Meet the Beatles!,” the band’s second album in the U.S.

1965 – American disc jockey Alan Freed is 43 years old when he dies from cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism. Freed, a 1986 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll.” His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that shook up the American broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

1968 – “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses),” a parody of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” puts John Fred and his Playboy Band at No. 1 on the singles chart for two weeks. 

1971 – “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye, is released and introduces fans to a different, more personal side of the Motown star in this anthem about social injustice. The song spends five weeks on top of the Hot Soul Singles chart before crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it climbs to No. 2.

1973 – Carly Simon begins her third and final week on top of the singles chart with “You’re So Vain.” After years of speculation, Simon eventually admits that the song refers to actor Warren Beatty.

1988 – Mick Jagger presides as The Beatles are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Paul McCartney decides not to attend, issuing a statement citing ongoing business differences among The Beatles.

1990 – Michael Bolton rules the Billboard Hot 100 with “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” The single holds the No. 1 spot for three weeks.

1996 – The Mariah Carey-Boyz II Men collaboration, “One Sweet Day,” is midway through a 16-week ride on top of the Billboard singles chart –the longest-running No. 1 song in the chart’s history at that time.

2007 – “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé, is in its sixth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track remains there for another four weeks and clinches a Record of the Year Grammy nomination.

On This Day November 18

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1956 – Fats Domino appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and plays his smash, “Blueberry Hill.”

1957 – Elvis Presley remains perched atop the U.S. singles chart for a fifth straight week with “Jailhouse Rock,” from the movie of the same name.

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale & Grace is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1971 – Memphis blues singer and musician Herman ‘Junior’ Parker dies at the age of 39 during surgery for a brain tumor. Among his hits were “Feelin’ Good,” “Driving Wheel,” “Next Time You See Me,” “In the Dark” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

1978 – “52nd Street” becomes Billy Joel’s first No. 1 album. It contains some of his biggest hits to date, including “My Life,” “Big Shot” and “Honesty,” and goes on to capture two Grammy Awards.

1989 – Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” begins its second and final weeks at No, 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1993 – Five months before Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death, the pioneering grunge band records an “MTV Unplugged” special at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The set list consists of lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album goes on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.

1995 – “Fantasy.” by Mariah Carey, enters its eighth and final week on top of the pop chart.

2017 – Australian musician and songwriter Malcolm Young, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC, dies at the age of 64.

On This Day October 3

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On this Day August 30

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1898 – Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actress Shirley Booth (“Come Back, Little Sheba,” “Hazel,” “The Glass Menagerie”) (d. 1992)

1908 – Actor Fred MacMurray (“Double Indemnity,” “My Three Sons”) (d. 1991)

1918 – Baseball legend Ted Williams (d. 2002)

1924 – Fashion designer Geoffrey Beene (d. 2004)

1927 – Actor Bill Daily (“I Dream of Jeannie,” “The Bob Newhart Show”) (d. 2018)

1930 – Investment guru and philanthropist Warren Buffett, a.k.a. “The Oracle of Omaha”

1939 – Tony-winning actress Elizabeth Ashley (“Take Her, She’s Mine,” “The Carpetbaggers,” “Evening Shade”)

1946 – Actress Peggy Lipton (“The Mod Squad,” “Twin Peaks,” “The Postman”) (d. 2019)

1948 – Grammy-winning comedian Lewis Black (“The Daily Show,” “Black on Broadway,” “Red, White, and Screwed,” “The Carnegie Hall Performance”)

1954 – Actor David Paymer (“Mr. Saturday Night,” “Quiz Show,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “City Slickers,” “Crazy People,” “Get Shorty,” “The American President,” “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “Drag Me to Hell”)

1963 – Actor Michael Chiklis (“The Commish,” “The Shield,” “Fantastic Four,” “Vegas,” “American Horror Story”)

1966 – Actress Michael Michele (“ER,” “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Ali,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”)

1972 – Actress Cameron Diaz (“The Mask,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Being John Malkovich,” the “Charlie’s Angels” movies, the animated “Shrek” movies,” “Vanilla Sky,” “The Other Woman,” “Sex Tape,” “Annie”)

1982 – Tennis great Andy Roddick

History Highlights
History Highlights

1918 – Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin is shot twice by a member of the Social Revolutionary party. but survives the attack. The attempted assassination triggers a wave of reprisals by Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries and other political opponents. Thousands are executed as Russia falls deeper into civil war.

1963 – A “hotline” linking Moscow and Washington, D.C. is activated to provide instant communication between the Superpowers in case nuclear weapons are accidentally launched. The system consists of a cable with a device resembling a large typewriter on either end.

1965 – New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel announces his retirement, ending a 56-year career in professional baseball.

1967 –  The U.S. Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as the first African American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In nominating Marshall to the nation’s highest court, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “It was the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place.” Marshall serves 24 years on the high court before retiring in 1991.

1976 – Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of NBC’s “Today” show. where he remains for six years. He leaves in 1982 to co-anchor “NBC Nightly News” with Roger Mudd, taking over as sole anchor in 1983 and remaining in that post until 2004.

1983 – U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion “Guy” Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger lifts off on its third mission. In 2010, Bluford is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

2003 – Actor Charles Bronson, best known for his tough-guy roles in movies like “The Dirty Dozen” and the “Death Wish” franchise, dies at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.

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